Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Oh, the places you'll go...?

For a long time Zach and I have had a bit of a back-and-forth as to where we would live long-term. I knew from the beginning that his job would often dictate our location, since job positions for him are more limited geographically and, well, part of the beauty of teaching (or staying at home with the kiddoes) is that you can do that pretty much anywhere. After graduating college we moved to California, and for Zach I think in many ways for him he was moving away and never looking back. Sure, we'd visit often b/c our families were there, and yes Austin was a great place and it'd be fun to visit, but he'd already lived there his whole life, he was ready for new places, new adventures, and besides summers is Texas are miserable and there's no good mountains anywhere nearby.

Me? I missed Austin immediately when we left. It took me a while to feel like California was home. We sometimes talked in hypotheticals about eventually going back to Texas, and Zach would humor me, conceding that perhaps when we had kids we could move back so we'd be close to family.

Eventually I settled into life in California, and grew to love it. We had great friends, we had routines, we developed new places to become attached to. I began to see how we could stay there long-term, really settle down there, and what a great life it was and could be. The idea of going back to Texas eventually was put on the backburner. And then, of course, the Swiss opportunity came up, and we jumped at the chance. And I knew being pregnant so far away from family and friends would be hard in many ways, but with the advent of digital cameras and computers and IM, etc, staying in touch didn't seem so difficult, and besides once back in the states it's only a 3 hr flight from California to Texas.

And so I haven't even really thought about this dilemma in a long time, until this morning when Mom and Zach were getting ready to leave for the airport and Mom was saying good-bye to me, and she had tears in her eyes and suddenly so did I and I hit by the realization of what a shame it is that it will be June before she gets to see Donovan again, that he will already be nearly 5 months old before any of the other family in Texas even gets to meet him, and what Donovan would also be missing out on by not being able to see all these great people, who already love him so much, on a regular basis.

I have no idea where we'll end up, really. Our plans right now have the equivalent certainty of scribblings on a cocktail napkin. But holy crap do I suddenly feel that pull to go back home, to be able to pop into Grandma and Grampa's (both sets of them) house on weekends or even for dinner on random weekdays, to see his Abuelito on a regular enough basis that he can help me teach Donovan Spanish, to be around for family birthdays and gatherings and Sunday afternoon impromptu bbq's. To be able to have his family watch him grow up in person, not just in pictures or video.


  1. I've been reading your blog for quite some time...I'm not even sure at this point where I got it but I love it. Your boy is so sweet! I don't know if it's the pregnancy hormones or what but this post got me all teary-eyed. I feel the ache in your heart. Good luck to you in wherever this world takes you! : )

  2. I totally feel for you, I have the same dilemma, and when my parents left, after being here for 5 weeks, I was a sniveling mess. I hope you guys end up close to his abuela and abuelo soon!

  3. Look what you did - you made me cry!

    Bad, bad Marcy.

    Remember what they say about making plans and mapping out your life. Do it in pencil, because God's up there laughing at you anyway. Take it one day at a time, and when it's time to decide to stay in Switzerland or go, then you'll take a look at all the options. Who knows what'll change between now and then?

  4. I totally know how you feel, my parents were here for the first 3 weeks. And when they leave - I really don't know when will I see them next :(
    my mom didn't like it here all that much - and my dad as much as he wants to stay here - can't

    and audrey is too young to travel to that part of the world.
    I really hope I will get to see them soon. Audrey changes so much and they don't get to see it :(

    but I'm happy that everybody is healthy and well - and thank God for this internet world where I can send pics, video and call them - everything is a button away :)

  5. Awwww, I feel your pain. We're quite far from both our families. Mine's in CA (mostly, other siblings scattered all over) and though it's an easy flight to Texas, it's still not that easy for them to come very often. Frederic's family is in CH, which is much harder. But we've decided we want to be near one family, and both prefer living in Europe, so CH is our longer term goal...a few years away. I've lived all over the world and as a single person it wasn't such a big deal - I could visit family whenever I wanted. But with kids, it's so much harder to be so far away.

    Good luck whatever you decide.

  6. Just wanted to add that I know how you're feeling as well! At first it seems like no big deal that you're far away with the Internet and cheap flights and globalization in general--but then when you see that look in Grandma's eyes when it's time to go, oh. So hard. My mom said it nearly killed her to leave Ellie, even though she knew we were moving back to the States three weeks later. I have to say, every time I miss England I just remind myself how much easier it is to be (somewhat) closer to family. Just enjoy your time in Switzerland while you can--you'll be back before you know it!



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